Forearm (lateral view)

Dr Aditya Shetty et al.

Forearm lateral view is a standard projection to assess radius and ulna.

  • patient is seated alongside the table
  • elbow is flexed to 90 degrees and the medial aspect of the wrist, forearm and elbow joint are placed in contact with cassette
  • shoulder, elbow and wrist should be in the same horizontal plane
  • lateral projection
  • centring point
    • mid forearm region
  • collimation
    • distal to the wrist joint 
    • proximal to elbow joint
  • orientation  
    • portrait
  • detector size
    • 24 cm x 30 cm
  • exposure
    • 50-60 kVp
    • 3-5 mAs
  • SID
    • 100 cm
  • grid
    • no
  • elbow is in a lateral position, as confirmation by the trochlea and capitulum being superimposed and the radial head being seen in profile.
  • there should be superimposition of the distal radius and ulna indicating a lateral position 

Contrary to popular belief the lateral forearm should not be considered a view to evaluating any occult injuries of the wrist joint and or elbow due to beam divergence. Beam divergence at the edges of the image should be acknowledged when assessing anatomy (see figure 3) 2.


Radiographic views
Share article

Article information

rID: 31107
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Lateral view of forearm

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Lateral Forearm R...
    Figure 1: radiographic positioning
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Figure 2: lateral view
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Forearm radiograp...
    Figure 3: divergent beam
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.